Frequently Asked Questions

How and when should I apply for aid?
For need-based financial aid it is recommended that you complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 prior to the school year for which you seek financial assistance. Because LEC awards need-based financial aid on a first-applied, first-awarded basis, we do not observe an application deadline. However, since many financial aid sources have limited availability, the sooner you apply after January 1 the better. Do not delay submission of your FAFSA because of incomplete federal tax information. You should provide your best estimate of family financial data and submit your FAFSA as early as possible and make corrections to the FAFSA after you complete your tax forms.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. You complete a renewal FAFSA online using your PIN from the Department of Education. It should be an easier process because many of your data fields are pre-populated with information from the previous year.

What is Lake Erie College's federal school code?
LEC's federal school code is:  003066

How do I check to see if my FAFSA has been processed?
Select "Check the status of your submitted FAFSA" on or call the federal processor at 1.800.433.3243.

What happens after I file the FAFSA?
You will receive confirmation in a Student Aid Report from the Dept. of Education. If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will be sent this confirmation by email. The colleges listed on your FAFSA/Student Aid Report will determine your eligibility for financial aid in an award letter (provided you are accepted at the college).

What is verification and why was my FAFSA application chosen?
The federal processor selects at least 30% of all applications for the verification process. Most applications are randomly selected and a few are selected because there may be an error. The financial aid office may verify an application to resolve any conflicts of information. The financial aid office must confirm that all information on your FAFSA application is accurate and complete. You will be asked to submit tax documentation and complete a verification worksheet. Please note, that the verification process must be completed before you are eligible for financial aid.

I lost my federal tax return. What do I do?
Call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 and ask for a summary of the tax information filed. For copies of w-2 forms, contact the employer.

Is this my final award letter?
The aid award you receive from the financial aid office is based upon the information you provided us through the FAFSA. It is a final award unless new or differing information is provided to us.

Do I receive the same financial aid every year?
Not necessarily. Students must apply for financial aid every year. If family income, household size, number of people in your household in college, etc. changes, your award will also change.

What happens to my financial aid if I change my residency status?
Your financial aid is based upon your student budget and the charges you incur as a resident or commuter. If you have an award as a resident and become a commuter, your gift aid will most likely be reduced.

What happens if family circumstances change after I file my FAFSA?
Contact the financial aid office! Changes such as loss of income, divorce, death in the family, or unusually high medical expenses may warrant a Special Condition request. These changes may change your eligibility for aid.

What can I do if my parents won't help me pay for college?
Contact the financial aid office to schedule an appointment. It is important to resolve any financial problems before the semester begins.

My parents do not claim me on their tax return. Can I file my FAFSA as an independent student?
To be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes, you must be able to answer "yes" to at least one of the FAFSA questions that pertain to independent status. These include: Are you 24? Will you be working on a master's or doctorate program? Are you married? Do you have children or dependents who receive more than half of their support from you? Are both of your parents deceased, or are you a ward/dependent of the court? Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? Independent status is not a function of being a tax exemption on your parent's tax return.

How do I know how much I owe?
Your out-of-pocket expenses can be calculated by subtracting your gift aid and the loans you choose to take out from your billable charges (tuition, fees, and room and board if you live on campus). Please note that federal work study awards must be earned as you work and are not applied to your student account.

What is Federal Work Study and how do I apply for a job?
Employment through the Federal Work Study (FWS) program is based on your financial need and availability of funds. If you are eligible for the federal work study program, it will appear on your financial aid award letter. Your FWS funds will be given to you in a paycheck for hours you actually work. These earnings are not applied to your student account. FWS job opportunities are offered by the Human Resources department.

What happens if I drop a class?
A change in enrollment can affect your eligibility in financial aid. Speak to a representative in the financial aid office to discuss your specific case.

What happens to my aid if I withdraw from all my classes?
You financial aid is subject to federal refund calculations to determine how much of your aid you earned in the semester. Refer to the withdrawal policy.

Do I have to apply for student loans?
Your financial aid award letter provides information on your loan eligibility. If you want the loans to help cover your costs you must complete a Stafford Master Promissory Note (MPN) or Perkins MPN. Refer to the LEC Loan instructions on how to access your loan funds.

What is an entrance interview?
It provides information to the student about his or her rights and responsibilities when borrowing a student loan. The loan is not free money and it requires repayment. The Department of Education requires a college to notify a student borrower of this information before the loan can disburse to your account.